India and Pakistan are using airstrikes against each other and both also shot down each other’s fighter jets on Wednesday. Pakistan captured an Indian pilot. These are the first air strikes they have exchanged since 1971.
Pakistan and Indian ground forces have exchanged fire in more than a dozen locations.
A suicide car bombing on February 14, by Pakistan-based militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police has triggered recent fighting and tension.
Yesterday, India launched an air strike on what it said was a militant training base. A senior Indian government source said that 300 militants were killed in Tuesday’s strike. Pakistan says no one was killed.
Counting the 40 paramilitary casualties and assuming 300 militant casualties and if there were 100 casualties from the dozen ground force fighting then this would already be about 20-25% of the deaths in the last war in 1999.
India will have Parliamentary elections in May. India’s Prime Minister Modi will not be able to look weak in his response to Pakistan.
There is no possibility of a real military victory by either side. India does not want to take over Pakistan and Pakistan does not want to take over India. Most of Pakistan and India might even be happy to wall off the entire border areas and let the tribes and groups fight it out. However, they do not want the other side to successfully claim any territory.
The fighting could last through the elections in May.
The Last Full War in 1999
The 1999 Kargil War was a three-month war between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. Each side lost in the range of 1000 casualties. Pakistan had infiltrated and occupied Indian territory. India mobilized 200,000 troops but mainly used 20,000 to push out the 5000 Pakistan forces.
Following the outbreak of armed fighting, Pakistan sought American help in de-escalating the conflict. Bruce Riedel, who was then an aide to President Bill Clinton, reported that US intelligence had imaged Pakistani movements of nuclear weapons to forward deployments for fear of the Kargil hostilities escalating into a wider conflict. However, President Clinton refused to intervene until Pakistan had removed all forces from the Indian side of the Line of Control,
Following the Washington accord of 4 July 1999, Pakistani troops withdrew. The United Jihad Council (an umbrella for extremist groups) rejected Pakistan’s plan and chose to continue fighting.
There are wide variances in the casualty estimates. Wikipedia has casualty estimates are 20,000 to 100,000. The casualty estimates do not include Pakistan terrorists killing citizens of Pakistan.
In a video below Abhijit Iyer indicates that 45,000-65,000 Indian civilians were killed and 17,000 military and police. Abhijit indicates 55,000 Pakistani died from 2008 to 2018 from internal terrorism.
Wikipedia indicates over 20,000 Pakistani militants have been killed by India.
Indo-Pakistan War 1971
675,000 India forces fought 365,000 Pakistan forces.
2500-3900 Indian casualties and 9000 Pakistan deaths.
45-130 aircraft lost on India side and 45-90 aircraft lost by Pakistan.
India had a decisive military victory and had captured over 90,000 Pakistan soldiers. The war lasted only 13 days. The war was at the same time as the end of the Bangladesh war for independence. Bangladesh fought for independence from Pakistan from March to December 1971.
India and Pakistan Each Have about 100-200 Nuclear Weapons
Most estimates are that India and Pakistan each have about 120 to 180 nuclear weapons. India’s conventional forces are about twice as large as Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have had four major wars in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. They also have had many border skirmishes and incidents.
India believes that they can defeat Pakistan in a war even if Pakistan uses nuclear weapons. India’s plan would be to use have armored divisions surround Pakistan forces and cities. They would Stalin’s tactic of “hugging the enemy”. This would mean any use of nuclear weapons against India’s military would cause Pakistan to have losses as well.
India vs Pakistan Miltary
India has 1.36 million active soldiers and 2.8 million in reserve.
India has about 4500 to 6000 tanks
India has 590 fighter jets and 804 attack aircraft.
Pakistan has 637,000 active soldiers and 288,000 in reserve.
Pakistan has 2180 tanks.
Pakistan has 320 fighter jets and 410 attack aircraft.
SOURCES – Reuters, Abhijit Iyer Youtube, wikipedia
Written By Brian Wang